Climate Change | Greenpeace Africa

What we do to stop climate change

Climate change impacts are being felt across the globe as sea levels rise, tropical storms smash into coastlines, once-fertile lands battle with floods or drought and permafrost in the polar regions melts. Although Africa contributes relatively little to global warming, the region is suffering from its effects.

Over 180 million people in sub-Saharan Africa alone could die as a result of climate change by the end of the century. Unpredictable rainfall patterns, lower crop yields, soaring food prices and dwindling natural resources are already causing increased human migration, tension and conflict.

South Africa - in a position to lead

South Africa can influence the battle against climate change, being an active member of the African Union, a vocal member of the G77, and one of the four developing countries poised to become a southern engine of global economic growth.

Its powerful combination of strong international leadership, progressive thinking and forward-looking policies are reflected in its calls for dramatic cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions and for mechanisms to help vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Want to know more about the fight against climate change?
Download our reports:

The True Cost of Coal in South Africa

Catastrophic climate change and uncontrollable debt are burdens South Africans will have to bear for their government’s addiction to coal. On top of the escalating construction costs for Kusile, the monstrous coal-fired power plant, the country will have to pay up to R60.6 billion per year for the external costs associated with it.

Eskom should stop construction at Kusile and invest in renewable energy solutions, which guarantee thousands of new jobs, while there is still time. The true cost of building this power station is much more than South Africans can afford to pay.

The True Cost of Nuclear Power in South Africa
The True Cost of Nuclear report outlines South Africa’s costly nuclear history, its failure to learn from past mistakes, and how the country could leave dirty and dangerous energy behind by investing in renewables. To achieve a nuclear-free South Africa, whilst still reducing the country’s dependency on coal, the electricity sector needs to be the pioneer of renewable energy utilisation. According to our Advanced Energy [R]evolution, 49% of electricity can be produced from renewable sources by 2030, increasing to 94% by 2050.

 

Powering The Future: Renewable Energy Rollout in South Africa

What should be in store for our future?

The ground-breaking report, Powering the Future: Renewable Energy Roll-out in South Africa, debunks important myths about renewable energy generation; offers solutions to the barriers to its deployment; and presents success stories from across the globe.

South Africa can and should champion a renewable energy future, one in which we see increased access to cheap electricity, thousands of new jobs and the democratisation of energy production. An Energy [R]evolution is possible if our leaders are willing to champion the cause.

The Advanced Energy [R]evolution

South Africa can create around 150 000 new jobs in the energy sector in the next 20 years, and at the same time safeguard against catastrophic climate change -- according to Greenpeace's 'Advanced Energy [R]evolution' report.

'The Advanced Energy [R]evolution' is a detailed and practical blueprint for cutting carbon emissions, replacing fossil fuels and nuclear power with renewable energy, and growing the economy. It is one of the most comprehensive plans to resolve the country’s need for energy security and a sustainable energy future, ever.

The report shows that renewable energy is mature, ready for implementation, and can be deployed on a large scale. It means that as renewable energy is scaled up, we can start phasing out coal, an energy source incompatible with the goal of avoiding runaway climate change.

 

Water Hungry Coal: Burning South Africa's water to produce electricity

South Africa is a water scarce country facing an impending water crisis. According to the National Water Act (Act no. 36 of 1998) the government, as trustee of the nation’s water resources, must allocate water equitably, and in the public interest. South Africa’s electricity utility is the country’s only strategic water user. This means that Eskom gets first priority in water use come hell or high water.

Ironically, burning coal to produce electricity is an incredibly water intensive process, with a number of serious implications for both water quantity and quality. In one second, Eskom uses the same amount of water as a single person would use within one year, based on access to the minimum 25 litres of water per day. This means that Eskom’s new coal-fired power stations will use substantial amounts of water, putting South Africa’s water resources at risk, and increasing the potential for future conflicts over water.

 

The latest updates

 

Why We Must Never Take Clean Drinking Water for Granted

Blog entry by ltsotets | August 2, 2018

Few people would argue access to clean drinking water is a fundamental human right. Yet, a significant portion of the world’s population remains without.  In the following article, Sidrah Ahmad, will explore why this is the case;...

March of the penguins

Blog entry by Akshey Kalra | January 15, 2018

This morning, people around the world are waking up to pictures of penguin sightings across the globe. The penguins have been spotted travelling on trains, arriving at international airports and at iconic landmarks. From Sydney to...

How Trump succeeds to put himself on the wrong side of history on climate change

Blog entry by Happy Khambule | June 2, 2017

For many watching the environmental space in South Africa, this was late night news that came with very little surprise. It had been a long day, filled with bitter anticipation of the disaster that was to come. And so it did. The US,...

Trump’s Attack on the Paris Climate Agreement Has Officially Begun

Blog entry by Kelly Mitchell | June 2, 2017

Today, Donald Trump officially announced he will try to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement — but that doesn’t mean the end of climate action.  A large scale visual message made by hundreds of people...

What to expect during COP22 - our expectations for the results

Blog entry by Jennifer Morgan | November 7, 2016

With the Paris Agreement coming into force the week before this big  UN climate meeting , the timing couldn’t be better for swiftly moving forward. Paris accelerates the transition to the zero carbon economy that is already...

The inevitable transformation - why swift action is needed to stay below 1.5

Blog entry by Jennifer Morgan | November 7, 2016

Last year, 197 countries adopted the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. Today (November 4th) it comes into force, in one of the fastest ratifications of any international agreement. In 2015 at COP21 in Paris,...

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